Robot Ronin contributor Stephen McCall wrote an open letter to the team at Comcept regarding their Kickstarter campaign and Beck’s character design for their upcoming game, Mighty No. 9.
To the development team at Comcept,
I would like to congratulate you on your ongoing success. Your crowdfunding campaign for Mighty No. 9 is the most important campaign since Double Fine’s Kickstarter campaign that led to the game Broken Age. Much like Double Fine set out to prove adventure games weren’t dead, you all filled a demand many gaming enthusiasts have been clamoring for: a proper successor to the Mega Man series.
You’ve adopted many fans who feel betrayed by Capcom’s recent treatment of their Mega Man games. MN9 is being led by Keiji Inafune and developed by Inti Creates, providing a sense of security for backers who want to make sure their money goes towards a quality game. The game’s transformations for its main character, Beck, provide an evolution in gameplay that Mega Man 9 and 10 were lacking. With your combination of loyal fans and veteran developers, MN9 has every reason to succeed in its crowdfunding campaign and as a game.
I appreciate your willingness to listen to fans. You’ve already re-arranged MN9′s stretch goals so bringing the game to multiple platforms was a higher priority, you regularly answer questions from your community in your podcast, and you promote various fanworks. It is clear you love the people whose support is making this game possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Beck’s character design is pretty darn neat. It has a mechanical feel to it and Beck’s smirk gives him some personality and sense of humanity. I just want Comcept to avoid any unforeseen consequences that may come with having main character with a highly noticeable groin.
It’s just… the crotch plate is incredibly distracting. It’s laughable. It feels little uncomfortable when because he’s supposed to look human and he also looks like a little kid. The dark blue codpiece draws unwanted to Beck’s nether region when everything around him is teal or black.
When I noticed this, it reminded me of Zero’s awkward character design from the Mega Man X series. It looked like he had green breasts and a sword representing a phallus, which have been the butt of many jokes in the Mega Man fandom to this very day and will continue being the butt of many jokes until the end of time. I don’t think it would be a good idea for fans to joke about a boy robot’s crotch plate on the Internet unless they wanted to grab the NSA or FBI’s attention.
If you wish to remedy this, I would suggest making the crotch plate the same color as the majority of Beck’s body. I realize there may be some practical purposes for giving him crotch plate when it comes to making animations, and having a color that doesn’t stick out as much could draw attention away from Beck’s no-no bits.
If you have no desire to change Beck’s crotch plate, I have another proposal; give him an alternate costume based on King Henry VIII. Featured below is a comparison between a famous image of the historical character to a piece of concept art drawn by Robot Ronin contributor Liz Mathews.
By acknowledging Beck’s irregular crotch plate and comparing him to history’s most famous codpiece owner, you would turn what would be the target of many jokes into a point of strength. Or in this case, taking a suggestion from a fan and running with it, because you guys are pretty cool with listening to feedback and applying it.
Whichever direction you decide to go in, I shall continue supporting your project. I have been a fan of Keiji Inafune’s work for 18 years and I have every reason in the world to contribute money towards this game, even if your main character has an unnerving crotch plate.